WARREN - The mother of murder victim Marco Dukes Sr. says she will not go away.
Darlene Dukes and a contingent of about 15 family members and supporters marched around the Trumbull County Courthouse on Wednesday demanding justice for her 32-year-old son, who was killed in a shootout on Elm Court N.E. about 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11.
One of the two men charged in the killing, Dale A. Hatch, 25, of Detroit, was to have a pretrial hearing before Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay. The hearing was held, but Hatch remained in the Trumbull County Jail instead of taking the walk across High Street to the courthouse.
Tribune Chronicle / Joe Gorman
Darlene Dukes, left, her daughter Shira Dukes, center, and Tanisha Lightning, right, march along High Street in Warren on Wednesday in support of Darlene Dukes’ son, Marco Dukes Sr., who was killed last month. One of the suspects was to have a pretrial hearing Wednesday.
Instead, the hearing was held in McKay's chambers and another hearing date of 1 p.m. Jan. 16 was set. Hatch also was served with a superceding indictment because the original indictment had a typo, said assistant prosecutor Chris Becker.
Outside the courthouse, Darlene Dukes said she had asked the city for a permit to hold a rally in support of her son but they denied her the permit, so she decided to march. City officials did not return a call seeking comment on why she was denied a permit.
''I came down here today to stand for my son,'' Darlene Dukes said.
She said she was upset she could not see Hatch in court.
''They will not walk him across the street today because we're here,'' Darlene Dukes said. ''My son will not die in vain. We will seek justice here.
''With my last breath I will seek justice for my son.''
Hatch and 22-year-old Derrick Peete of Webb Avenue S.W. and also of Detroit each face charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault, all with firearm specifications, improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation and having weapons while under disability.
Reginald Baldwin of Detroit was arrested in the murder but later was released for lack of evidence.
Dukes' cousin, Larry Smith, 29, of Warren, was wounded as both stood on or near a rear stairway leading to a home on Elm Court.
Detectives have described the shooting as a "major gun battle,'' indicating that at least three people involved had high-powered weapons and Dukes may have returned gunfire as he and an unarmed Smith were apparently ambushed behind the home.
Officers recovered nearly 50 shell casings from various weapons in a parking lot in that area.
At an initial appearance for Peete and Hatch Nov. 20 after they were arrested, security was tight at the courthouse and deputies stood guard outside armed with assault rifles.
Hatch waived his right to appear at the hearing. Becker said he did not appear because it was not necessary. Peete has a pretrial hearing at 11 a.m. Jan. 10.
Darlene Dukes said her son had changed his past behavior and had also paid for his past crimes. She said not only did she lose a son, but his children lost their father.
''Nobody deserves to be gunned down like my son was with high-powered rifles,'' Darlene Dukes said.